Dave and Laura's autumn wedding

Autumn barn wedding with a handfasting ceremony

It has been a while since I featured an exclusive real wedding on the blog, more through my own fault than lack of them to share.  Whenever I put together a real wedding feature I feel this immense sense of responsibility to the couple who’s wedding it is – after all  this was their special day and I want to do my very best in portraying it here on my blog.

As a result it takes me a great many hours to put together the beautiful photographs and carefully answers questions submitted by the bride.  Today’s wedding is a very gorgeous autumnal affair, that was inspired by the couples love for the countryside.

Laura and Dave got married in Stratford Upon Avon during the autumnal month of October, with a humanist ceremony.  Their wedding was captured beautifully by TNWC photographer Sarah Brittain Edwards Photography.  Over to bride Laura to tell us more about the day…

Real leaf wedding signs

The Little Caravan Photography

Groom in waistcoat and mustard coloured bowtie

“We both love Autumn and were keen to reflect the season, with it’s lovely cosiness and beautiful colours.  We wanted it to feel personal and handcrafted – no ‘Gold Package’ all inclusive deals!  And being a country girl at heart, I wanted it to feel rustic, homely and unfussy.”

Autumnal wedding flowers and grasses

Autumn bride and bridesmaids

Wedding sparklers

For their humanist wedding celebration they hired a barn at Alveston Pastures Farm: “One thing we’d both said we’d love was an open fire and when we walked in and saw the huge fireplace there, it was pretty much a done deal!”  

“We had total freedom to make the space whatever we wanted – hiring everything from furniture to a kitchen.  It was a lot to sort out but it meant we could choose absolutely everything to be just as we liked.”

Alveston Pastures Farm wedding barn

The Little Caravan Photography

“The day before the wedding was ridiculously exhausting but the actual wedding morning was gorgeous – so special and so relaxed.  I think it was one of the loveliest times I’ve ever spent with my parents and three best friends.”

The Little Caravan Photography

Bride getting ready

The Little Caravan Photography

“My dress was handmade for me by a very talented dressmaker, Kathrine Fachmann, who is based in Alcester.  Initially, I’d asked her to make me something based on a dress I’d tried on in a boutique – a strapless number.  But a couple of months before the big day I had a total change of heart and decided I wanted something much softer and more romantic.”

Handmade romantic wedding dress

Bride getting ready

Natural bridal make-up

“I talked through my ideas with Kathrine and both of us went away and drew new designs – when we shared them at the end of the week we’d drawn almost identical dresses – and it was ‘the one’! Kathrine was an absolute dream to work with and the whole process was incredibly enjoyable.  I said I wanted to look like I’d blown in on the wind and she just got it!”

Romantic handmade wedding dress

Natural bridal make-up

Whimsical handmade wedding dress

“My wedding jewellery was custom made by a New York designer called Wendy Mink.  I’d seen one of her necklaces in a shop and I loved the crescent moon shape of it but I wanted to echo the mustard yellows and autumn golds that we’d included elsewhere in the wedding, so she made a customised version for me using those colours and I was thrilled with the result.”

Wendy Mink necklace

One of the first things I spotted when looking through Laura and Dave’s wedding pictures were these gorgeous hair pins and so I asked Laura where she got them – it turns out she made them!  “I made my own hairpins using wired beads which I bought online at VV Rouleaux that I just wrapped around plain old bobby pins.”

Handmade beaded hair pins

“My bridesmaids – my three best friends – were just an absolute dream team!  They didn’t really know one another well when we started but they just seemed to click.  They organised an incredible 1940s inspired hen do and each of them helped out with various crafty projects.”

Bridal party getting ready

The Little Caravan Photography

Bridesmaids getting ready

For an autumn wedding I can’t think of anything more beautiful than deep, plum coloured bridesmaids dresses.  In fact, I love the colour choices that Laura and Dave picked for their wedding – from the dark purples to the mustard coloured ties and bowties of the groomsmen.

“With their dresses, we’d planned initially that they would all wear something different.  I didn’t want them to look like matching little girls because they are all strong, independent women!  But on our very first get together when they were just getting to know each other, we popped out for tea and walked past a lovely shop in Crouch End, that has sadly now closed down.  We popped in for a potter and half an hour later, giddy with excitement, came out with three matching, handmade, silk dresses which they all loved!  It was meant to be!”

Dark plum coloured bridesmaids dresses

Autumn bride and bridesmaids

“I wanted my wedding flowers to look lovely and natural – nothing too structured or themed.  I found a lovely florist based in Welford, the village next to my parents – Yvonne from Heaven Scent.  A few days before the wedding she picked me up at 5am and we drove to the Birmingham Flower Market together and I just chose anything that I liked the look of!”

“She was great – really encouraging and hands on and I was really thrilled with how it all came together on the day.  I especially loved the men’’ buttonholes and my bouquet.”

The Little Caravan Photography

Autumn bride and bridesmaids

The Little Caravan Photography

“Dave’s suit was custom made by T M Lewin.  He’s 6ft 6 so buying a suit off the peg is always a bit of a challenge and this was one day where he really wanted to feel he looked the bees knees!  It was quite an expense but it was worth every penny because he looked unbelievably handsome! My dressmaker, Kathrine, made his waistcoat and the ties were handmade at Peckham Rye.”

Aren’t the colour choices just perfect for an autumn wedding!  If you get Unique Bride Magazine you might have spotted Dave and his best man in my recent article about incorporating Edwardian inspired elements to your wedding – Dave’s dapper waistcoast and bowtie are really in-keeping with this era.

Tailormade grooms suit with mustard coloured bowtie

Laura and her dad drove to the barn in an old Morris Minor, which is now a fond memory from the day:  “I’ll never forget the car journey to the wedding with my dad and I bouncing around in the back of a Morris Minor!”

The Little Caravan Photography

Autumnal wedding

The Little Caravan Photography

Autumn bride and bouquet

Laura and Dave held their humanist ceremony in the barn at Alveston Pastures Farm which they had decorated with bunting, lanterns and jam jars of flowers.  The autumn before the wedding Dave and I went for a walk on Hampstead Heath and collected leaves which we pressed for a year.  We then hand-stamped them to create reserved signs  and other little notes around the barn.”

Real leaf signs for an autumn wedding

Autumn barn wedding

“Dave and I had started buying second hand vases at boot fairs and charity shops and we saved all our jam jars so that we could dot little arrangements all over the barn.”  Doesn’t the barn look so cheerful strung with bunting and with that big chandelier glowing overhead?

Bunting decorated barn

Beautiful backless wedding dress

Autumn decorated wedding barn

I love the white gypsophila in the bridesmaids hair, especially next to the dark purple of their dresses…

Bridesmaids with gypsophila in their hair

“We opted for a humanist ceremony because it gave us total freedom to make it incredibly personal.  Our celebrant, Alan Penny, was so lovely and so eager to listen to our thoughts and suggestions.”  

Humanist wedding ceremony

The Little Caravan Photography

The Little Caravan Photography

“We wanted to have one moment in the ceremony when our very closest friends and family had the opportunity to get involved so we included a handfasting and invited them up to say a word or two and literally join us together.”

Handfasting ceremony

Handfasting ceremony

“A real highlight was when our friend, and opera singer, Rosie Aldridge, sang a French song called ‘mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix’ which means ‘my heart opens to your voice’.  I first realised I had feelings for Dave when I’d seen him singing with his old band and we then went on to sing together as a folk duo so the meaning of the song felt really appropriate.”

The Little Caravan Photography

Autumn bride and groom

The Little Caravan Photography

“The whole day, including the ceremony was all in the one barn.  We just moved the furniture a little to allow for the different moments.  Dave, my bridesmaids and our family were amazing – together we made 40m of hessian and coloured cotton bunting, we carved pumpkins, made lanterns, sewed napkin rings – the list was fairly endless!”

Pumpkin wedding decorations

Autumn barn wedding

The Little Caravan Photography

“After the ceremony we had mulled wine – served in the tea cups we’d collected all year! – and canapés.  We then sat down for a delicious meal of pie and mash followed by crumble– lovely and warming!  Our caterer, Sarah Hudson-Evans was incredible!”

Mulled wine in teacups

The Little Caravan Photography

Autumn wedding spiced cakes

I love their rustic display of cakes with the colourful mini bunting cake toppers…

Rustic cake table

Jam jar tealight lanterns

There were also kilner jars of homemade chutney, made by Dave’s stepdad: “There were five different types and they were all delicious!”

Homemade chutney in kilner jars

Rather than having wedding favours, Laura and Dave bought tiny felt acorns from Etsy seller Fairyfolk that they placed in every guests seat along with their place card.  I’ve bought felt acorns from the very same Etsy seller for my Christmas tree and they are utterly gorgeous!

Luggage tag place cards with felted acorns

The Little Caravan Photography

“After the meal we organised an almighty conker fight and then rounded off the night with music and dancing from The Swing Commanders who were just so much fun!”

Looking back on the day, Laura shared one of her favourite moments from the evening: “Dave and I had one moment on the wedding night when we were standing outside and looking at the lights strung around the garden and we just said – ‘we made this!’  It was a tiny little moment but I remember it so clearly.  That and the ridiculous dancing that ensued once The Swing Commanders started playing.  At one stage, there were about 20 people lying on their stomachs pretending to be synchronised swimmers!”

The Little Caravan Photography

Laura and Dave chosen TNWC wedding photographer Sarah Brittain Edwards to capture their day: “Sarah was so wonderful to work with.  On the morning of the wedding when I was surrounded by my absolute closest friends and family, it would have been easy for it to feel strange to have an extra person there but she was so warm and so unobtrusive that it felt totally natural.”

The Little Caravan Photography

Beautiful bride

The Little Caravan Photography

“I wanted the photos to look relaxed, I didn’t want our guests to have to spend hours posing for formal pictures.  Sarah was fantastic at just capturing the moment and at herding the crowds when necessary but without being remotely pushy.  We were so pleased with the final photos – they capture the mood of the day and all the little details perfectly.”

The Little Caravan Photography

Autumn wedding

The Little Caravan Photography

A huge thank you to Laura and Dave for allowing me to share their wedding with you all, and to Laura for taking the time to tell me all about their beautiful day.  Also a big thanks to photographer Sarah from Sarah Brittain Edwards Photography for her lovely pictures from their wedding.

Dave and Laura

Do take a look at all the other real weddings I’ve featured on the blog.

{ Details }

Photography: Sarah Brittain Edwards Photography
Alveston Pastures Farm
Wedding Dress:
Kathrine Fachmann
Bride’s Jewellery: Wendy Mink
Bride’s Hairclips: 
Made by the bride
Groom’s Suit:
T. M. Lewin
Ties: Peckham Rye
Heaven Scent, Welford, Stratford Upon Avon
Sarah Hudson-Evans
Felted Acorn Favours: 
The Swing Commanders


Nicola on 11. April, 2013

Lovely wedding, great colours and wonderful lighting on the photos

Lucy on 7. June, 2014

Hello, I just wanted to say what a beautiful wedding! We are actually getting married at alveston pastures farm next year, I just wondered where Laura and Dave got their outside lights from? We are looking for the string lights with actual light bulbs on but we are struggling to find where to get them from (a long length).
Your help would be much appreciated, thank you!!


CharlieB on 10. June, 2014

Hi Lucy, how lovely to hear you’re getting married at Alveston Pastures Farm too – it looks like a beautiful venue 🙂 Unfortauntely I’m not able to get in touch with Laura and Dave, but I think the lighting you are after are known as ‘festoon lighting’ and I did a quick search and came across this company who hire them out (and they have a special offer on before 31st June!) – hope that helps 🙂 Love Charlie xXx

Elle Deakin on 10. August, 2014

Hi! Im also getting married at Alveston Pastures Farm too next year 🙂 What I was wondering was who did her hair?! Its beautiful! 🙁 xx

CharlieB on 11. August, 2014

Hi Elle, what a lovely place to be getting married 🙂 Unfortunately I don’t know who did Laura’s hair if it’s not stated in the blog post. If I can find an email address from Laura then I’ll try and find out for you xXx

Elle Deakin on 11. August, 2014

That would be fab if you could! Thank you 🙂 xx

Elle Deakin on 4. January, 2015

any luck? Im really desperate to find SOMEONE to do my hair! 🙁

Autumn Leaves Wedding Decor | SouthBound Bride on 6. May, 2015

[…] Images: The Little Caravan Photography via The Natural Wedding Company […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to blog